Dubbed the “voice of a generation,” Boonaa Mohammed is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and performer with accolades including a playwright residency at Theatre Passe Muraille, a short story published in a Penguin Canada anthology called “Piece by Piece” and various slam poetry titles credits including winner of the 2007 CBC Poetry Face-Off “Best New Artist” award.
His popular Youtube videos have received over One Million views to date, and as an Artist he has toured and traveled across the world, speaking alongside some of the most influential scholars and entertainers of our time. He frequently conducts writing workshops and seminars, sharing his experience and expertise in Spoken Word story-telling with mainly youth from all walks of life.
British-born, award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley is well known in the Muslim world for her outspoken views and defence of Islam. A life-long feminist, she endeared herself to the Muslim community in Britain when she reverted to Islam 30 months after making international headlines when she was captured by the Taleban on an undercover assignment in Afghanistan. She was the chief reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several prestigious titles including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday.
Yvonne set out as a regional journalist nearly 30 years ago in her native North East. She has also worked as a broadcaster, producer and presenter on programmes for BBC TV and radio, CNN, ITN and Carlton TV, travelling to Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. A founding member of the British-based Women in Journalism, she is also a promoter of women’s rights, and is also a founding member of the Stop The War Coalition and the RESPECT political party.
In her spare time she travels throughout the UK and across the globe promoting peace and the anti-war messages. She has also delivered lectures on issues relating to Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir, Sudan/Darfur and Uzbekistan, Women in Islam, the War on Terror and journalism at Ivy League universities across the US, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. She is also the author of two books called ‘In The Hands of the Taleban’ and ‘Ticket to Paradise’.
Yvonne is a founding member of the Friends of Islam, an all party parliamentary group. In 2010 during the International Muslim Women’s Union conference held in Lebanon, she was confirmed as the European President of the IMWU-EU branch.
She is a patron of the London-based human rights organisation Cageprisoners and devotes much of her time to humanitarian work. She has most recently become a patron for Nour, a domestic violence organisation. Other memberships include: National Union of Journalists, English Speaking Union, CAABU and Friends of Al Aqsa.
She presents a weekly political show called The Agenda on Press TV from the satellite station’s London studios and co-presents another show called Rattansi & Ridley with co-host Afshin Rattansi from onboard HMS President, also for Press TV. She is also a documentary-maker and has already enjoyed great success with her productions at film festivals in Rome, Istanbul and London, again the subject has been human rights, a notable theme in all her work.